Goodwood Revival: Katarina Kyvalova & Simona De Silvestro team up in all female team
Katarina Kyvalova and Simona de Silvestro teamed up for the Goodwood Revival, in the first full-female team at the Freddie March Memorial Trophy that marked the IndyCar racer's first ever classic car race, in a "quintessential mix of automotive highs and glamour".
The Goodwood Revival has always been a time machine for racing fans and petrolheads in general. Legendary cars you would otherwise only see as exhibits in a museum are in their natural habitat, being raced as they were supposed to. Behind the wheels of those roaring vehicles, legends themselves in the likes of former F1 champions, Le Mans winners and many current racing drivers from all kinds of racing series.
This year's edition of the Goodwood Revival saw the first and only all-female team, as Katarina Kyvalova teamed up with none other than IndyCar star Simona de Silvestro in Katarina's gorgeous 1954 Cooper-Jaguar T33 for the Freddie March Memorial Trophy.
"Goodwood has suggested Simona as my co-driver for the one hour/two driver race and I was very pleased about it as I very much support women in motorsport and whenever I can I like to share drives with a female driver." – Katarina told us. "We met shortly at another car event in 2021, so we already knew each other, quite the dream team." "I really hope we can do more classic or GT races together in the future" – Kyvalova added. The Freddie March Memorial Trophy was held on Friday evening, heading into the dusk of Goodwood.
Following qualifying, the duo of Kyvalova/de Silvestro clocked in a very solid P8 within the grid of 26 cars; the more experienced Kyvalova took the start. Immediately, she was able to clinch P7 in sight of the front-runners, working very hard on the wheel of the classic Cooper-Jaguar.
She maintained some qualifying-like lap times throughout the stint, before handing the car over to Simona de Silvestro just before the 30 minute mark. De Silvestro then brought the Cooper-Jaguar home in 9th position out of 18 finishers, just losing 8th place to Sielecki's Aston Martin - which was even more remarkable considering the lack of experience in this type of car for the Swiss racer.
Being a regular in GT cars and having raced in IndyCar just a week before, De Silvestro proved herself as a very versatile talent.
The race on Friday was won by Hancock/Wakeman (1953 Jaguar C-Type), nine seconds ahead of Webb/Young (1954 Jaguar C-Type) with third place going to Grant Peterkin/Treluyer (1952 Allard J2X), 14 seconds adrift.
"To be fair, my 1954 Cooper-Jaguar T33 is not the easiest car to handle", Katarina explained after the race. "It likes to slide and drift and of course I have also a little longer experience with classic cars especially, on the Goodwood track, so that was surely an advantage at the beginning."
"Simona got very quickly the hang of it and figured out the way how to drive this little historic machinery around fast. This time I was the lucky one who could bring the Fastest Lap by Lady driver trophy home, but that won’t be for long." – Kyvalova said.
Asked about their initial thoughts coming into the Goodwood Revival and the lack of track time for Simona de Silvestro, Katarina stated: "The Goodwood Revival was the first classic car race for Simona so we came to Goodwood with no concrete nor big expectations, but very motivated to deliver the best result we could." "Finishing 9th overall in this one hour race into the night is definitely a great result considering the very competitive 26 cars grid in the Freddie March Memorial Trophy."
The result is truly remarkable considering de Silvestro had never driven the car before.
"Due to Simona's IndyCar commitments in the USA unfortunately she didn't have the chance to test the car before and knowing how tricky it is to drive right hand drive cars from the 50’s, we knew that this was going to be a very tough challenge." "Simona proved her long experience and professionalism in motorsport and within the shortest time she was up to pace and handled the car beautifully" – Kyvalova commented.
And it looks like we might get to see a Kyvalova/de Silvestro driver pairing again in the future. Certainly, we will see Katarina Kyvalova returning to the most exclusive and spectacular classic car events of the year.
"Undoubtedly the Goodwood Revival is the most unique and best classic car event in the world" – she added. "From the rarest, most beautiful cars, to the vintage fashion and racing legends, it all comes together and creates a quintessential mix of automotive highs and glamour." "It’s definitely worth visiting for every car enthusiast and racer – the 2023 year will mark the 25th anniversary, so it is going to be a very special edition and it cannot come soon enough."